Glass half empty or half full. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Life is what you make it. A silver lining, a blessing in disguise.
Seeing the positive in life has been a constant struggle for me. I was that melancholic child, that broody teenager, and that unpredictable young adult. With an artistic temperament, even as an adult I’ve appreciated the existential tenderness of darkness and despair.
And it’s true that there’s much darkness in our experience on earth. A lot of shitty things happen to a lot of people. We can’t change this fact. But we can change the meaning about what happens to us and others. This is called Reframing.
Reframing is about changing the meaning of an event or experience, essentially putting a new frame around it. Reframing causes a perspective shift, and the practice can lead to greater empowerment over a situation that once felt disempowering.
When we see an event from a different perspective, even understanding it’s positive intention or gift, we move from being a victim to being at choice. When we change the meaning of something, we simultaneously change our feelings and emotions about it, too. Something that once felt negative and restrictive now can feel positive and freeing.
To find a positive reframe, we ask: “How can I return to love, appreciation and respect?” As healthy, evolving adults we can begin to reframe by getting curious: “I wonder what my role is in creating my problems? Could these challenges be opportunities and have something to teach me? How can I be inspired by others to live my brightest life?”
Our thoughts become our beliefs, our beliefs shape our experiences, and our experiences become our reality. With reframing, self-limiting thoughts such as “life is hard, I have so many problems, I never get it right, everyone is better than me,” are replaced by more life affirming and self-loving thoughts. When we are stuck in a place of self-judgement, it’s near impossible to make positive changes in our lives.
Radical personal growth is a top priority for me and it’s becoming clear that having a glass-half-empty Eeyore mindset is no way to thrive in the abundance and good of the universe. Reframing is key to liberation. Reframing equals choice and growth.